Today I took a look at Romans 12. Our preaching minister at our church recommended a book by Chip Ingram. The book itself looks at the whole chapter of Romans 12 as a glimpse of what it looks like to be in a growing and intimate relationship with Christ… to be a disciple.
“Being a genuine disciple of Christ flows out of a relationship with Him. It’s about experiencing God’s grace, not earning His love through performance. A real relationship with Jesus Christ will produce a follower whose life looks progressively more like His life. Romans 12 provides a relational profile of an authentic disciple: someone who is surrendered to God, separate from the world’s values, sober in self-assessment, serving in love and supernaturally responds to evil with good. Christians who live out this kind of lifestyle are what we call r12 Christians. God is willing to go deeper and grow you into a real disciple”
As I begin to look at Romans 12:1-4 (I do intend to buy and read the book), there are some things that have struck me.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
This is the choice where we find ourselves at the beginning of a real relationship with Jesus… sacrificing our self so that we can be who he wants us to become. This is a spiritual act of worship and I think it is the highest act of respect and worship to God we can possibly have… to give ourselves to him, a living sacrifice. This is not always an easy concept because we tend to yield to the old self, falling into old habits and going back to sinful desires, conforming again to the things of the world when we should seek to conform to the things and will of God.
In conforming to God’s ways and renewing our minds we embrace a variety of disciplines… study of His word, prayer, journaling, meditation on scripture, worship and many more. The passage about testing took me a different direction this time. The greek word dokimazo and no, I don’t know how to say it so don’t ask if you ever see me in person:) has a sense of “finding out worth by putting it to use or by testing it in actual practice”. So in this I take it to mean by putting to use or testing the renewal of the mind. This is what enables us to discern the will of God. This is where we begin to become a disciple, we are beginning the transformation as we seek out a deeper and stronger relationship with Him.